By Evang. Okpan Cleopas,
Jesus Christ existed in the beginning with God, with distinct and unique characteristics which show Him as deity (John 1: 1 – 5). This creator of the world became flesh and dwelt amongst men, with His shining glory that was full of grace and truth (John 1: 14). “He made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2: 7, 8). By so doing, Jesus paid the price we could have paid; He paid the debt that we owed. He took our place and received upon Himself all the sufferings and shame meant for us, just so that we could be free to enjoy the grace of God which brings salvation to all men (Titus 2: 11).
1. He paid for my poverty: He became poor that I might be rich. The apostle Paul said to the Corinthians, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8: 9).
2. He paid for my wounds: He got wounded that I might be healed. Isaiah said, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53: 5) read I Peter 2: 24.
3. He paid to secure my forgiveness: He was punished that I might be forgiven. Peter said that He bore our sins in His own body (1 Pet. 2: 24). John says, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 John 2: 2). John further said, “And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin” (1 John 3: 5).
4. He paid for my death penalty: He died that I might live. Paul says, “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor. 5: 14, 15). “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him” (1 Thess. 5: 10).
5. He paid for the Church: He bought the Church with His precious blood (Acts 20: 28), that I might be added to it and nourished for my soul’s salvation (Matt. 28: 20; Eph. 3: 10).
Let every Christian rejoice because Christ has paid our debts. He has set us free from the curse of sin and death. Let us therefore not return to the bondage of the devil where hopelessness and despair loom, and where destruction and eternal condemnation beckon. May we remain free indeed (John 8: 32, 36).